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Displaying items by tag: Royal Canal Greenway

Christmas has arrived along the Royal Canal Greenway as a line-up of festive things to do and see at its multiple trailheads are announced.

In Kildare, visitors can veer off the greenway to experience a taste of Christmas with Festive Afternoon Tea at Carton House, available Thursdays to Sunday.

In Longford, those keen to kick start their New Year’s health resolutions early can hire a bike from the Midlands Cycle Hub in Cloondara or at Ballymahon Greenway Cycles to avail of seasonal special offers on bike hire over the December and Christmas holiday period.

Then unwind and enjoy festive entertainment after your Royal Canal visit with a performance of Longford’s Snow White Christmas Pantomime which is running at St Mel’s College from 20 December to 2 January.

Also not to be missed are Fiona Egan’s Festive Cookery Class (runs throughout December, booking required) and Longford’s Traditional Panto, which runs from 20 December to 2 January (book here).

If you’re in Westmeath, get into the festive spirit at Mullingar Arts Centre this Christmas with its extensive programme of festive fun events and performances for all the family.

Visitors seeking to stay awhile can find respite at popular accommodation options in Westmeath including the centrally located Newbury Hotel and the family-run Annebrook House Hotel, situated in the heart of Mullingar nearby and renowned locally for its annual breath-taking Christmas foyer display.

Refuel at one of Westmeath’s picturesque eateries. Nanny Quinn’s, located on the banks of the Royal Canal by Lock 18 at Thomastown Harbour, is a must-taste restaurant serving fresh, local home-cooked fare and is adorned with Christmas lights offering a charming festive experience.

And see Santa while you stop off in Westmeath at the Andean Alpacas Christmas Experience where you can explore the festive pathways, visit the elves and receive a gift from Saint Nick himself.

Your little elves can even post a letter to Santa in a special letterbox destined for the North Pole, feed the alpacas and site and have storytime with Mrs Claus.

Speaking about the events planned for the festive season, Sharon Lavin of Waterways Ireland said: “As Ireland’s longest greenway covering over 130kms across Kildare, Longford, Meath and Westmeath, the Royal Canal Greenway has plenty of activity happening this Christmas.

“There is an abundance of activities planned near our four main trailheads, whether you are in the mood for a festive feast or taking the whole family to see Santa, visitors can enjoy the seasonal beauty of the Royal Canal Greenway while still partaking in the festive events and activities along the way.”

Check out the Royal Canal Greenway on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter where more information about events is being added daily.

Published in Inland Waterways

The Royal Canal Greenway is the place to be this upcoming Halloween with 16 spooktacular events happening all along the 225-year-old Royal Canal this mid-term break.

The greenway, which is the longest in Ireland at 130km, encompasses four counties — Kildare, Longford, Meath and Westmeath — and has an abundance of stops with plenty of activities for all interests this Halloween including a haunted train, a spine-tingling med-evil exhibition, a Halloween feast and even a spooky science camp!

Sharon Lavin of Waterways Ireland said: “We are thrilled to have such a wide variety of offerings this Halloween along the Royal Canal Greenway. Across all four counties through which the Royal Canal Greenway travels we have something for everyone throughout the week.

“Whether you want to spend your days enjoying leisurely walks in the countryside or entertaining the family between cycle stops you are sure to find what you are looking for. It’s easy to stay over and keep exploring.”

Waterways Ireland has put together a handy list of events to make sure you avoid the horror of missing out this Halloween — but be sure to act fast as booking is essential for many of these happenings.

Published in Inland Waterways

The 130km Royal Canal Greenway from Maynooth to Cloondara was launched in March this year and proved a big hit with locals and visitors alike over the summer months, according to Waterways Ireland.

Now the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways has commissioned Tracsis Traffic Data to gain feedback and delve deeper into who the greenway’s users are and how they’re using it via an online survey this month.

“We want to understand how the Royal Canal Greenway is contributing to the visitor economy across the counties of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford,” Waterways Ireland says.

If you have recently visited the Royal Canal Greenway anywhere between Maynooth to Cloondara, the short five-minute survey asks you to share your thoughts on the experience.

The link is also available via QR codes placed along the greenway, and there’s a chance to win a €100 shopping voucher for those taking part. The closing date for the survey is Sunday 31 October.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises users of the new Royal Canal Greenway in Co Longford that the towpath on the 44th level of the inland waterway at Killashee will be closed from next Monday 29 March to Monday 12 April to facilitate essential maintenance works.

These investigate works have been classified as critical infrastructure works so they will continue over the current period of increased Covid-19 restrictions.

Published in Inland Waterways

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan will be joined by Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, for the virtual launch of the Royal Canal Greenway this coming Wednesday 24 March.

No pre-registration is required for the Waterways Ireland live stream, which will be available from 10am HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran TD announced midweek a significant package of funding totalling €1m for Phase 2 of the Royal Canal Greenway.

When launched in early 2020, it will be the longest greenway in Ireland, totalling 130km in length along the inland waterway connecting Maynooth in Co Kildare with Clondara in Co Longford.

The funding will be provided from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Budget 2020 allocation for greenways.

The Royal Canal Greenway is a dedicated off-road cycling and walking route which is currently being developed by Waterways Ireland and the local authorities of Kildare, Meath, Westmeath and Longford using the existing towpath along the Royal Canal.

The funding will be used to complete the basic infrastructure to ensure the delivery of a greenway that is "fully functional, animated and activated to reach international trail standards".

Minister Moran said: “I warmly welcome this funding from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport which will be used to complete and enhance this wonderful amenity for the midlands.

"This co-operation between department, local authorities, Waterways Ireland and all of the groups connected with the greenway exemplifies what can be achieved and I look forward to good progress being made in realising this significant goal.

"Once completed, this greenway will connect Dublin to Longford, adding substantially to the existing network of greenways throughout the country. I have no doubt that visitors from home and abroad will enjoy this top-class experience and that it will motivate those interested in cycling and walking in this beautiful countryside to come and visit and see it first-hand.”

For more about the status of the Royal Canal Greenway developments see waterwaysireland.org/royalcanalstatus

Published in Inland Waterways

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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